Highlights from Arkansas coach Bret Bielema and Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze from the SEC teleconference:
(On turnover margin. Hogs are minus-12 in SEC games)
“Saturday, a case in point, one was with a quarterback exchange. Then a key point in the game, the third quarter we made a score and put our team in position with momentum. We got some things rolling in the right direction. They had a quarterback run, we had a guy made a nice strip on the ball. We’ve got three guys around the ball, they’ve got one, and they get the ball.
“Sometimes the ball just bounces the wrong way. You have to create opportunities, and when that worm turns you’ll see a significant change in turnover margin as well.”
(On offensive line play)
“I could tell in our first practice, our first workout when the O line was working that we had some area to grow there, not just development of our own players but in recruiting. We have two guards that are freshmen that are playing as good as anybody on our offensive line except Travis Swanson, our center.
We’ve got some guys that with another year in our program can help us sooner than later.”
Those guards are Dan Skipper and Denver Kirkland. Both were high on the Ole Miss wish list for the 2013 class.
(On the early kickoff)
“This is our third one, so our kids are a little more versed. The locations of some of these universities and the towns around them, it’s not real convenient for some of the visiting teams.”
Bielema also mentioned Gainesville as a problem spot for travel relative to the early kickoff. Arkansas will be staying in Memphis.
While this is Arkansas’ third early kick, it’s the first for Ole Miss.
(On Arkansas linebackers and coaching moves there)
We struggled with that last year. I understand what they’re going through. If you’re improving yourself it’s not a big challenge, but if none are getting the job done it’s a huge challenge, I do think they’ve improved themselves with the moves they’ve made. When you ar rotating at different positions that sometimes can be not the best scenario.
(On the similarities between Ole Miss, Auburn and benefit of Auburn playing Arkansas last week)
“With us, you’re different from most everybody else with the exception of Auburn.You would think it would be similar, but I don’t get too caught up in hanging my hat on this is how they have to play us. They’re coaching all week too. We’ll figure it out in the first quarter.”
(On whether he spoke with Gus Malzahn about Arkansas)
It’s definitely changed. We used to talk all the time about things, but that hasn’t occurred this year very much. We don’t really talk much about other schools. No, I wouldn’t put him in that position, and he probably wouldn’t feel comfortable about that anyway. We stay away from talking about teams in our conference.